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Armed Forces Act 2006

Section 2: Misconduct on operations

45.When a person subject to service law is taking part, or under orders to take part, in operations against an enemy, or is in the vicinity of an enemy, he commits an offence if he is found to be guilty of misconduct in the following circumstances. These are:

  • surrendering or abandoning a place when under a duty to defend it (subsection (1))

  • failing to do his utmost to carry out lawful commands (subsection (3))

  • when carrying out certain important duties (such as guard duty) sleeping or leaving their place of duty (subsection (4))

  • making statements (or other communications) likely to cause alarm or despondency among HM Forces or allied forces, or among accompanying civilians who are subject to service discipline (subsection (5))

46.In most cases no offence is committed if the person in question has a reasonable excuse for his actions.

47.The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

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